Korea Chair Monitor | Vol 4 Issue 1
January 29, 2016
The Korea Chair team takes a biweekly look back at events of interest in Washington, Seoul, and the region from January 13 - January 27, 2016.
U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nominee Visits Seoul
Ambassador Thomas Shannon, U.S. Department of State counselor and pending nominee for under secretary for political affairs, arrived in Seoul on January 27 and will stay until January 28. He is visiting the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and will hold bilateral meetings with Korean officials on the alliance, global priorities, and responses to North Korea. Ambassador Shannon was nominated as the next under secretary for political affairs in September 2015.
Major Parties Begin Preparing for Upcoming General Election
In the run-up to the April general elections, the opposition Minju party has undergone a change in leadership, as Moon Jae-in resigned from his chairman position on January 26 and Kim Jong-in was appointed as the interim leader. On January 25, Ahn Cheol-soo and Chun Jung-bae agreed on creating a new united coalition party, the People’s party. In preparing for April, the ruling Saenuri party’s Supreme Council is undergoing an internal debate over its nomination system holding meetings on January 24 and January 28.